Federal Court Curtails the ITC’s Control Over Digital Transmissions

By Alex Yeager

Last year, the International Trade Commission made a grab for power – over Internet signals.  While traditionally focused on screening physical goods, the body attempted to state in a case last year that it had the ability to “prevent digital material from crossing the U.S. border.”  Last week, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit limited the Commission’s power to control over “material things”, a reported victory for internet search providers such as Google, and a loss for parties that suffer from rampant pirating, such as film studios.